The Best Type of Tag is Arm & Leg Tag

Not to mention completely exhaust themselves.

by Dave Baldwin
Originally Published: 
Drawing of kids on the meadow playing tag

‘Arm & Leg Tag’ is one of the activities for kids rooted in a classic playground game. But unlike regular tag, players lose the ability to use their limbs when they get tagged. It’s a great game for exhausting kids ⏤ either inside or out ⏤ because they essentially get four ‘lives’ per round and are able to stay on the ‘field’ a lot longer. Plus, there are no opportunities to rest or catch their breath, as there are in, say, ‘Freeze Tag’ ⏤ so it’s great exercise. It requires no setup or equipment, can be played with big groups or as few as three, and is fun for kids of all ages.

Prep Time: None

Entertainment Time: 5-15 minutesEnergy Expended by Child: Moderate to High

What You Need:

  • An open room or yard.
  • The ability to balance and hop on one leg.

How to Play:

Tag has always been a pretty straightforward game, and this variation is no different. To start, pick a room, yard, or field in which to play. Depending on its size, mark off designated boundaries with tape or cones to keep players contained. If you really want to wear them out, you can give them free reign but the game eventually involves hopping on one leg so, keep that in mind if you’re playing on a football field. The fewer the kids, obviously, the smaller you should make the space.

With everyone in the room, explain the rules: They’re all ‘it’ and the goal is to tag each person’s arms and legs. If they tag someone’s back, face, torso, that’s fine, it just doesn’t count or affect the game. When a player’s arm or leg is tagged, however, they can no longer use it ⏤ it’s gone. When all four limbs have been tagged, players are out of the game and should sit on the side until it’s finished. The last player standing with at least one arm or leg wins. That’s it. Yell “Go!” and let the chaos ensue. If you have a big group, you can also play with multiple teams.

Wrap Up:

The American Council on Exercise likes Arm & Leg Tag for a number of reasons: it provides good interval training, boosts the heart rate, and helps develop coordination, balance, and reaction time. You’ll like it because it’s a fun way to get kids laughing ⏤ and so tired they can’t wait to go to bed.

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